After the discussion about the conversation that started on the Westinghouse Zera thread (the device that can turn waste to compost in 24 hours) I got a bug in my brain that I really needed this device but couldn’t justify the $1200 cost. But a similar device called the Food Cycler, which has been around for a few years (and longer in S. Korea, where it’s made) and I saw it listed on WayFair for $235. The price is now up to $285 so I’m glad I jumped when I did.
I ordered the unit about a week ago and just got it today. I promptly loaded it with some food waste that I’ve been saving for just such an occasion, and the machine is now quietly humming on my kitchen counter. They say it should take about 3 hours to finish its cycle.
Since there was a good discussion going about the Zera, and since gardening is a popular topic, I figured I’d post about my experience with the unit here, in case others have any interest in getting one.
First impression; it’s a pretty big machine - about as big as a full-size bread maker. The unit I got was (unexpectedly) the “Platinum” version, which for some reason isn’t detailed on the Food Cycler website, but is available from Amazon for $319. I don’t know why WayFair doesn’t use an accurate picture, but I’m glad I got this one because it’s a little nicer looking and it has a filter-change indicator light, which I look forward to ignoring in a few months. There are apparently no other functional differences.
As it’s operating now, it makes a constant light hum - about the same volume as a tattoo gun, or maybe an electric toothbrush. Every few minutes it seems to make different whirring noise for a few seconds - it’s possible this is the grinder activating, or maybe not since that’s supposed to be a different part of the cycle. The sound is not too distracting, but is the kind of thing that would be annoying to be around for long. Once I’ve finished the test cycle, I plan on putting it in the laundry room where I won’t be able to hear it, and probably only run it at night or when I’m out of the house.
The bucket of the unit is relatively small for the size of the overall unit. I didn’t measure, but probably holds about 6-8 cups of food waste up to the fill-line, which I exceeded, of course. For me, that’s probably half a week’s worth of food waste, and that’s probably a good thing; my old compost bucket would fill up after about a week and be pretty smelly after that period of time. If I’m processing food waste every few days it’ll probably be a lot less mess and smell.
So that’s my first report. I’ll update this tonight when the first batch is done, but until then, feel free to ask any questions.